California has a look and feel unlike any other place in the world. Not only does it sit firmly behind the wheel — pole position — taking us all to the promised land of the future; but, it can never fully shake the traditions of the past. There’s something cosmic about the ocean, occult about the deserts, and mystical about the sun and moon of California that separate it from anywhere else. It’s not something easily explained to people, it’s something felt. Like having a glass of red wine while watching the sun set over the hills from a balcony overlooking a canyon, the sunlight kissing the brush gently as the shadows take hold, carrying everything into the night. Photographer Harper Smith catches these divine moments for us on film… maybe so we don’t have to burn them into our collective consciousness, hoping to keep their vision before us in silent wonderment.
Her photos move effortlessly across the landscape of modern California, transporting us to the eras of generations past. It’s a place where the sun never seems to fade, and youth is the omnipresent currency. Swimming pools, vintage and discarded bathing suits, views of the beach through heart rimmed sunglasses, a 60s era convertible red porsche: they all recount a perfect day at the beach. Two lane roads, red rocks, fine sands, scattered clouds, and dry expanses of grass speckled with Joshua Trees capture the splendidness of the empty desert. Sparkling embers, lace tops, blacked out faces, moons, eeriness, and cosmic symbols rule the night. Harper Smith creates a world that exists in the moments when we realize the world around us is overwhelmingly beautiful. Make sure to check her out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as: harpersmithphoto.